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Tender Smoked Eye of Round Italian Beef Recipe

Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
4 hrs
About 15 – 20 servings
In this Recipe

This smoked eye of round recipe is a great way to make flavorful meat for Italian beef sandwiches or to serve as an entrée!

Eye of round is an often overlooked cut of beef that you can find at a value price. We love using it to make Italian beef because it is super simple to slice at home, however, most people don’t think to make smoked eye of round!

Follow this recipe, and you’ll get some of the most tasty Italian beef you’ve ever had and conquer a new cut of beef on your smoker.

We’re going to quickly answer some of the most common questions you may have about our smoked eye of round recipe, then we’ll get on to the ingredients and directions!

What is eye of round?

raw eye of round roast

A raw beef eye of round roast.

Eye of round is a cut of beef that comes from an animal’s rear leg, or what we call the round. It is cylindrically shaped, like a tenderloin, but isn’t as tender. This shape does make it easy to roast and then slice for recipes like Italian beef.

Most cuts from the round portion of an animal have a rich, beefy flavor and dark red color. The eye of round comes from the middle of a muscle group and is used a little less, so it has a more pink color, slightly more delicate flavor, and is the most tender of the round cuts.

Most people wouldn’t think to make smoked eye of round, because lean cuts aren’t often smoked, but with this recipe, it turns out great!

PS – eye of round is a certified extra-lean cut of beef, which is great for heart-healthy diets!

How do you season this smoked eye of round?

We made our own Italian seasoning for our smoked eye of round Italian beef, but you can use a pre-made Italian beef seasoning.

The ingredient list below has our recipe; you can modify it to your own taste. Here are some suggested modifications:

  • Omit salt if you’re following a salt-free diet.
  • Add more chili flakes if you like a spicy rub.
  • Include two teaspoons of coffee grounds to blacken the outside of the smoked eye of round and bring a roasty flavor to the beef!

What’s the smoker set up for this recipe?

Italian seasoned eye of round roast on smoker

You can see our seasoned eye of round roast is ready for the smoker with a water pan underneath it.

As we discussed above eye of round is a very lean cut, so we want to take a few steps to make sure that we do not dry out this cut during our smoke. Here’s how I set up my Big Green Egg to make this smoked eye of round:

  1. Indirect heat cooking at 250ºF. You could cook at 225, but I prefer cooking at a slightly higher temperature. I think cooking lean cuts slightly faster keeps them juicier.
  2. Oak chunks for smoke. You could also use hickory. I believe oak and hickory are the best flavor complements to beef and work perfectly with the Italian seasoning on our smoked eye of round.
  3. A water bath underneath the eye of round to create a humid cooking environment. You can learn more about the benefits of a water pan on this website.

How do I serve this smoked eye of round?

Sliced smoked eye of round Italian beef

Sliced smoked eye of round Italian beef ready to enjoy on its own or in sandwiches!

Once your smoked eye of round Italian beef is done cooking (when it reaches 135ºF), remove it from your smoker and then let it rest for 15 – 30 minutes. After resting, you can slice it into thin slices.

Here’s where you have a choice of how to serve you Italian beef:

  1. You can serve the beef as an entrée with mashed potatoes, gravy, and your favorite vegetable.
  2. Or you can make sandwiches!

We made some incredible smoked eye of round Italian beef sandwiches featuring bread from Simple Bakery in Lake Geneva, caramelized onions, and Gouda cheese from Hill Valley Dairy in Lake Geneva. You can watch the video included with this recipe to see how we did it!

Do you have other eye of round recipes?

We do also have an oven-roasted Italian-style eye of round, that is easy to make at home if you don’t have a smoker! You can also find more recipe ideas for eye of round roast on Beef It’s What’s For Dinner!

We hope all of your questions about this smoked eye of round Italian beef recipe are answered. If they’re not, leave us a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you out!

On to the recipe, and we’ll see you soon at Lake Geneva Country Meats!


  • 3 – 4 lb(s) Eye of Round Roast
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (salt free)
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes


  1. Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl. Rub a small amount of oli over the eye of round roast, then generously season the roast on all sides with the rub.

  2. Set up your smoker to cook with oak smoke (or similar) at 250ºF with indirect heat. Use a water bath to help create a humid cooking environment in your smoker. This speeds up cooking time and helps keep the meat juicy.

  3. Smoke your eye of round for about 2 – 2.5 hours, until it reaches 135ºF. Remove the meat and let rest for 15 – 30 minutes.

  4. After letting the smoked eye of round rest, slice it into thin slices. You can now enjoy your smoked Italian eye of round beef with jus, or you can make sandwiches!

  5. If you want to make sandwiches, lightly toast bread, then add slices of beef, caramelized onions, and shredded cheese on top. Put the sandwich on a foil-lined tray, then place under a broiler until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

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